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ACSS and CalHR Discuss Pay Equity and Other Issues that Affect Excluded Employees

Posted: 10/10/2019 Tags: benefits legislation policy representation salary Tags Views: 1670

On October 8, 2019, ACSS met with CalHR Director Eraina Ortega to continue discussions regarding the Newsom Administration’s approach to salary and benefits improvement for the State’s excluded employees. Director Ortega and her Labor Relations staff, led by Deputy Director and Chief of Labor Relations Paul Starkey, met with ACSS President Todd D’Braunstein, ACSS Executive Director Rocco Paternoster and key staff, along with ACSS Legislative Advocate Ted Toppin.

President D’Braunstein thanked CalHR for recently implementing Family Care Leave and new Emergency Pay rules for excluded employees – two long standing ACSS priorities. He also thanked Director Ortega for the new process allowing ACSS to submit excluded employee salary and benefit proposals related to bargaining units at the same time CalHR is negotiating with those bargaining units.

In our continued efforts to aggressively advocate for solutions to solve compaction, ACSS noted progress made in addressing salary compaction, but many excluded employee classifications remain within 5 percent of subordinate classes. Director Ortega confirmed salary setting for excluded employees will be more flexible in the future and CalHR will not be as constrained by a practice of limiting salary differentials to 5 percent.

ACSS reiterated previously submitted proposals for pay and benefit equity with rank-and-file units and proposals to correct salary inequities. ACSS discussed the need to restore vertical salary relationships between classifications and explore other incentives to promote to excluded classifications.

Chief of Labor Relations Paul Starkey noted CalHR was in the process of realigning labor relations staff to more effectively respond to and address excluded employee issues raised by ACSS and affecting our members. Director Ortega and Mr. Starkey confirmed a commitment to working with ACSS now to review many of the long-standing compensation issues ACSS has identified. We anticipate scheduling interim meetings to discuss specific proposals with CalHR Labor Relations. CalHR has promised feedback and is evaluating improvements to the process for sharing salary and benefit related decisions with ACSS.

President D’Braunstein thanked Director Ortega and her staff for making excluded employee issues a priority and for committing to review and respond to issues and proposals made by ACSS. As always, ACSS will continue to keep members informed of issues that affect excluded employees as they arise.


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Legislature Passes Bill Approving MOUs, Appropriates Money for Increases for Related Excluded Employees

Posted: 9/13/2019 Tags: benefits legislation policy salary Tags Views: 3978

On September 12, 2019, the Legislature approved Assembly Bill 118 which includes funding for certain excluded employee salary adjustments. AB 118 approved labor contracts for 13 state rank-and-file bargaining units (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 11, 13, 14, 15, 17, 20, and 21). The bill, which contains budget appropriations to fund employee compensation increases for both rank-and-file employees and related excluded employees, now heads to Governor Newsom for his approval.

ACSS has requested CalHR provide at least the same salary and benefit increases to supervisors, managers and confidential employees in addition to correcting standing salary inequities and compaction issues. The expectation is that CalHR will adjust salaries for excluded employees related to bargaining units 2, 7 and 13 retroactively to July 1, 2019.

Most salary adjustments and other benefits for excluded employees related to the 9 SEIU Local 1000 bargaining units (1, 3, 4, 11, 13, 15, 17, 20, and 21) are effective July 1, 2020. The SEIU rank-and-file agreements call for a few increases to take effect this fiscal year: increase in bilingual pay, recruitment & retention for Correctional Case Records Analysts, increase in the call center differential, expanding the personnel and payroll geographic differential to include Alameda County, and an increase in the commute reimbursement from $65 per month to $100 per month. Other employee compensation adjustments – general salary increases, special salary adjustments and the new provision to provide $260 per month to those enrolled in a CalPERS health plan – are scheduled to take effect July 1, 2020. ACSS has asked CalHR to provide excluded employees with at least these same increases in addition to resolving identified salary compaction issues by raising excluded employee salaries.

Following Governor Newsom’s signature on AB 118, CalHR will issue a “Pay Letter” as the official instruction to the State Controller’s Office to adjust salaries. ACSS will publicize the pay letter and its impact as soon as it is released. ACSS is next scheduled to meet with CalHR in early October and will keep all members apprised of progress made on addressing salary compaction and improving excluded employee salaries and benefits.


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Many Excluded Employees will see smaller paychecks as OPEB Deductions increase, ACSS takes action

Posted: 8/28/2019 Tags: benefits legislation policy retirement salary Tags Views: 2341

ACSS has been affirmatively taking action advocating for our members’ interests on OPEB deductions and General Salary Increases this year. As always, we represent the voice of Managers, Supervisors and Confidential State Employees and we strive to obtain fair wages and working conditions.

Although raises for many excluded employees were effective with last month’s pay warrants, the increased Other-Post Employment Benefit (OPEB) deductions will take effect with the August pay period. Your OPEB contribution is listed on your pay stub as “CERBT”, which stands for California Employers’ Retiree Benefit Trust.

Your contribution as a percentage of salary is matched with a state employer contribution. The purpose is to reduce the “unfunded liability” for retiree health care to ensure that your valuable earned health benefits will be available when you retire.

The following chart showing the legislatively approved contribution rate increases for OPEB and CalHR approved increases for exempt and excluded employees not related to a specific bargaining unit:

OPEB INCREASES for EXCLUDED
EMPLOYEES Effective August 2019
 Percentage Increase
 1, 3, 4, 11, 14, 15,
17, 20, 21 (SEIU Units)
 1.1%
 2  0.7%
 6  N/A 
 7  1.3%
 8  1.4%
 9  1%
 10  1.4%
 12  1%
 13  1.3%
 16  N/A
 18  1.4%
 19  1%
 Exempt and excluded employees not
directly tied to a BU (E48, E97, E98, E99)
 0.8%

Not all excluded employee salaries increased on July 1, 2019. State Bargaining Units 2 and 18 have not reached new labor contracts. ACSS President Todd D’Braunstein has urged CalHR to provide a General Salary Increase to supervisors, managers and excluded employees related to these units. Click here to read President D’Braunstein’s letter to CalHR. ACSS has been proactive in the fight for fair and appropriate wages on behalf of these excluded employees.

Excluded employees related to state Bargaining Units 9 and 10, will also see a temporary one-half percent increase in the employee pension retirement contribution. The Unit 9 increase will be for this fiscal year only and the Unit 10 increase will be for two years. A one-half percent increase for excluded employees related to Unit 16 will take affect this paycheck and thereafter.

ACSS will continue to stand up for your rights while communicating and working with the Administration. As we receive new information, we will continue to keep you informed on these important issues.

>> Click here to read details of the OPEB provisions.

>> Click here to read OBEB FAQ's from CalHR.


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Open Enrollment for Health, Dental and Vision Begins September 9, 2019

Posted: 8/22/2019 Tags: benefits policy Tags Views: 807

Open Enrollment for health, dental and vision coverage starts September 9 and ends October 4. This is your opportunity to evaluate your health care selections and make any changes to your health or dental plans, add or drop dependents, or elect to enroll in the cash option in lieu of health and/or dental benefits effective January 1, 2020.

CalHR just announced the amount of the 2020 Consolidated Benefits (CoBen) allowance to be used for health and dental benefits effective January 1, 2020. The CoBen Employer contribution for excluded employees has increased to $695 (Single)/$1347 (2-Party)/$1741 (Family). This new CoBen amount for supervisors, managers, and confidential employees is up to $118 higher per month than the state employer contribution for some rank-and-file employees.

Health Premiums have increased by an average of 6 percent, with two plans seeing much higher increases – Blue Shield Access+ will increase by 13.91 percent and Health Net SmartCare will increase by 18.15 percent. CalPERS mailed letters July 26, 2019 to members impacted by health premium rate increases of 10 percent or more. A new lower cost plan, Blue Shield Trio, is available in some areas. Dental premiums will remain the same or will decrease slightly. Vision plan premiums will decrease.

If you would like to explore different health plan options, CalPERS has a tool that allows you to search plan availability and premium rates based on your zip code. Visit the CalPERS website here.

To compare plan costs and calculate your exact out of pocket costs, or your CoBen cash back if your selections are lower than the CoBen Allowance, visit the CalHR Benefits Calculator and select “2020” and “Excluded Employee” before entering your options.

Be on the lookout for Open Enrollment forms from your department. If you are not making changes, no action is needed.


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CalPERS Benefits Education Event in Costa Mesa - Aug. 9 and 10

Posted: 8/1/2019 Tags: benefits retirement Tags Views: 458

The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) is hosting a two-day CalPERS Benefits Education Event (CBEE) in Costa Mesa to inform members in a 5-county area about programs and benefits available to them. This event will take place at the Hilton Orange County on Friday, August 9, and Saturday, August 10, 2019. The same program is offered on each day, so attendees can select the day they wish to attend.

Whether new to CalPERS, in mid-career, or close to retirement, CBEEs offer all CalPERS members a wealth of information about their retirement and health benefits, supplemental savings plans, long-term care coverage, and more. Representatives from CalPERS Regional Offices will be on hand to answer questions.

Open both Friday and Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., the event features breakout sessions specific to both early through mid-career members, and those nearing retirement. Topics to be covered include CalPERS retirement benefits, CalPERS health benefits, and deferred compensation.

Click here for more information and to register for this event


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Family Care Leave in Effect as of July 1, 2019

Posted: 7/1/2019 Tags: benefits legislation policy Tags Views: 1434

CalHR has updated its policy to reflect that effective July 1, 2019, excluded employees enrolled in the Annual Leave Program (Section 2102) are eligible for Family Care Leave as part of Non-Industrial Disability Insurance (Section 1411).

The new Family Care Leave Benefit is only for excluded employees enrolled in Annual Leave. Normally, excluded employees must wait 24 months before changing from Vacation/Sick Leave to the Annual Leave program. As a result of the new Family Care Leave benefit, CalHR has also announced a one-time open enrollment period for excluded employees to elect to enroll in Annual Leave. ACSS members who recently elected the Vacation/Sick Leave Program or switched to the Vacation/Sick Leave Program have until August 29, 2019 to elect to enroll in the Annual Leave Program by submitting a form to their Human Resources Office. Employees currently enrolled in Annual Leave are automatically eligible for the Family Care Leave benefit and no action is required.


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ACSS Secures Significant Victory! How ACSS Helped Make Family Care Leave Benefits for Excluded Employees a Reality.

Posted: 6/21/2019 Tags: benefits legislation legislature policy Tags Views: 1235

The legislature passed Senate Bill 83 and it is now on Governor Newsom’s desk. SB 83 will provide supervisors, managers and confidential employees the ability to take up to six weeks of paid time off to care for a seriously ill family member or bond with a new child.

ACSS has advocated for paid family leave benefits for years. In the last legislative session, an ACSS sponsored bill (AB 3145) made it to the desk of Governor Brown. Although he vetoed the bill, he noted that the Department of Human Resources (CalHR) was developing a plan to offer paid family benefits to state managers and supervisors. The Newsom Administration has supported the legislative changes required to implement this benefit. ACSS has been working with the Administration diligently to ensure that SB 83 passed through the legislature and that ACSS members receive these important benefits.

The new law, effective July 1, 2019, will expand non-industrial disability insurance (NDI) for excluded employees enrolled in the annual leave program. Under the “Enhanced-NDI” program, supervisors, managers and confidential employees will receive 50 percent of their gross salary for up to six weeks for Family Care Leave. This Enhanced-NDI benefit can be supplemented to 75% or 100% of salary using paid leave credits. This new benefit is unique to excluded employees and is employer paid with no employee contribution required. There is no waiting period for excluded employees switching from vacation/sick leave into the annual leave program.

ACSS President Todd D’Braunstein remarked, “ACSS has long sought paid leave for our members to bond with a new child or care for ill family members.  I am proud that ACSS’ legislative program was able to deliver this benefit to our members.  Achieving this benefit without an employee cost is remarkable.  I thank Governor Newsom for championing paid family leave and the Legislature for swiftly passing this new law which is unique to supervisors and managers.”

If you have any questions about switching from vacation/sick leave to annual leave or questions about the new Family Care Leave benefit, contact your ACSS Labor Relations Representative.


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ACSS and CalHR Discuss Salary and Benefit Improvements

Posted: 10/4/2018 Tags: bargaining benefits legislation meeting policy representation Tags Views: 1894

On October 1, 2018, CalHR Acting Director Adria Jenkins-Jones met with ACSS President Frank Ruffino, ACSS Executive Director Rocco Paternoster, ACSS Director of Representation Nellie Lynn and ACSS Legislative Advocate Ted Toppin to discuss improvements to the salary and benefits of excluded state employees.

“It was a pleasure to meet with the Association of California State Supervisors, and I look forward to working with ACSS as CalHR’s Acting Director,” Adria Jenkins-Jones said. “I have enormous respect and appreciation for the state’s managers and supervisors and the jobs they do. They drive California state government and ensure that we fulfill our mission to serve the public.”

ACSS acknowledged the progress made under the Brown administration and previous CalHR Director Richard Gillihan. In addition to General Salary Increases in 2017 and 2018, the Administration provided excluded employees a 3% General Salary Increase (GSI) effective on October 1, 2016, as well as various special salary adjustments to address salary compaction. The October 2016 GSI was a departure from previous practice by providing excluded employees a GSI before several rank and file Unions reached collective bargaining agreements. ACSS is committed to continuing to work with CalHR and the next administration to ensure excluded employees receive equitable and appropriate salary and benefit improvements.

ACSS advocated for a minimum 10% pay differential between excluded employees and their staff. We also provided salary data supporting ACSS’ request for special salary adjustments for various excluded classifications to address salary compaction and pay parity for excluded employees.

Additionally, we advocated for salary increases for excluded employees related to bargaining units 06, 09 and 10. Rank and File employees in those units recently reached new labor contracts (called Memorandum of Understanding or MOUs) with salary increases, in which ACSS urged CalHR to pass on those benefits to excluded employees.

In addition, ACSS reiterated a request for disability insurance benefit improvements and paid family leave. CalHR confirmed they will notice and meet with ACSS under the Meet and Confer process on a proposal to provide state managers and supervisors with paid family leave benefits by July 2019. Governor Brown’s veto message on ACSS supported AB 3145 revealed plans to provide paid family leave benefits for excluded state employees.

More information on AB 3145 and paid family leave can be found here.

As always, ACSS will provide updates as information is available about specific salary and benefit improvements for excluded employees.


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Governor’s Veto: Paid Family Leave for Supervisors and Managers on Its Way

Posted: 10/4/2018 Tags: benefits legislation legislature policy Tags Views: 1467

Although Governor Brown has vetoed ACSS backed legislation, the veto message makes clear our collective voice has been heard. AB 3145 would have given individual supervisors and managers the option of selecting enrollment in the State Disability Insurance Program or choosing to remain in the current Non-Industrial Disability Insurance or Enhanced Non-Industrial Disability Insurance programs. This individual choice would have allowed employees to participate in the program that best met their needs. In his veto message, Governor Brown noted the Department of Human Resources (CalHR) “is developing a plan to offer paid family leave benefits to state managers and supervisors by July 1, 2019.”

ACSS supported AB 3145 and the option of allowing individual supervisors and managers the choice to elect to participate in the State Disability Insurance Program (SDI) in large part because of the Paid Family Leave Program. SDI carries with it an employee contribution, but provides greater benefits, the most significant being coverage by the Paid Family Leave Program, which provides up to six weeks of partial pay to care for a sick family member or bond with a new child.

ACSS will be meeting with CalHR as it develops the details of the new paid family leave benefits program for supervisors, managers and confidential employees and will keep you informed about the new program.

Read Governor Brown’s AB 3145 Veto Message here.


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Open Enrollment for Health, Dental and Vision Begins September 10, 2018

Posted: 8/31/2018 Tags: benefits health policy Tags Views: 1061

Open Enrollment for health, dental and vision coverage starts September 10 and ends October 5. This is your opportunity to evaluate your health care selections and make any changes to your health or dental plans and add or drop dependents effective January 1, 2019.

CalHR just announced the amount of the 2019 Consolidated Benefits (CoBen) allowance to be used for health and dental benefits effective January 1, 2019. The CoBen Employer contribution for excluded employees has increased to $668 (Single)/$1293 (2-Party)/$1673 (Family). This new CoBen amount for supervisors, managers, and confidential employees is up to $50 higher per month than the state employer contribution for rank-and-file employees.

If you have received notification of a change in health plan availability, or if you would like to explore different health plan options, CalPERS has a tool that allows you to search plan availability and premium rates based on your zip code. Visit the CalPERS website here.

Some premiums are going up, while others are decreasing. To compare plan costs and calculate your exact out of pocket costs, or your CoBen cash back if your selections are lower than the CoBen Allowance, visit the CalHR Benefits Calculator and select “2019” and “Excluded Employee” before entering your options.

Be on the lookout for Open Enrollment forms from your department. If you are not making changes, no action is needed.


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